Ronald Navickas was an armored car messenger at Ryan's Armored Car Service who remembers the violence and military presence in Detroit in July 1967.
Detroit Historical Society
Detroit Historical Society, Detroit, MI
From 1958 until 1969 I worked for Ryan’s Armored Car, saw more than my share of what looting and burning did to Detroit during the riots, from the beginning until the end. Just a short bio: The first day, Sunday, I moved my family from Highland Park to a friends house for safety and went back to protect our home. Spent the night listening to tanks rumbling down Hamilton Ave. towards Davison, heard the .50 cal. machine gun open up on a suspected sniper and if you travel Davison you can still see the holes in the building. On Monday morning I attempted to go to work, our garage was located on Selden between Cass & Second............heading down Hamilton I saw a sentry at the intersection of Davison, he was one of the 101st or 82nd airborne troops stationed there along with a sandbagged emplacement containing a machine gun crew...........I was instructed not to try heading into the city. I could fill a book with all I witnessed from the remnants of customers businesses and the shots fired at us.
“Ronald Navickas,” Detroit Historical Society Oral History Archive, accessed June 23, 2021, https://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/276.